Help compare these mid-range saws - longish and needy

Page 1 of 2  
OK WWing experts....
Let me first start off by saying I have been watching for a used saw for some time but nothing worth buying has shown up in the papers around where I live. Also, I don't really want to mail order something as big as a saw. I think there is too much risk involved with that for me so that rules out Grizzly and General International among others.
So, I've narrowed the saws in my price range down to the Ridgid TS3650 and the new Craftsman 22114. I know there are a ton of posts about both of the saws and I have read them for hours on end. But I still don't have a clear cut winner because the upsides/downsides are so different. I will itemize them and if you have a strong opinion about which issues are more important or fatal, please post a reply.
Thanks in advance.
Ridgid TS3650 Problem: Some models have arbor problems when using stacked dados. Not a fatal flaw, but causes uneven bottoms. (No such issue with the Craftsman) Notes: Ridgid is sending out replacements and I understand it's not overly difficult to fix. Still, having to 'fix' something out of the box is dis-heartening.
Problem: Wobbly Table. (The Craftsman is solid as a rock) Notes: Many say the wobble isn't that bad (and I concur based on what I've seen and the P.O.S. I currently have), but can easily add bracing to virtually eliminate this flaw.
Craftsman 22114 Problem: Fence Deflection approaching 1/4 inch at rear on two models I've seen without applying too much force. Notes: No fix that I know of. I'm not sure how much of an effect this would have on its use, but any other brand saw I've seen doesnt have this degree of deflection in the fence. The Ridgid locks down very tight and straight based on line of site over the miter track. (Some argue that the rear locking mechanism can be as bad or worse since it can 'lock' out of square)
General Notes about comparisons. I like both saws. On one hand, I like the 3/4 cabinet style of the 22114, but it weighs quite a bit more and doesn't come with a mobile base. I would HAVE to buy one at the time of buying the saw because my shop space is limited. The Herc-U-Lift on the TS3650 seems awesome.
The fence deflection on the 22114 scares me more than any of the TS3650 issues because I don't have a 'fix' other than buy a Biesemeyer - out of the question because of the price. OTOH, I'm not sure that the deflection is that much of an issue. Does anyone have a thought of how bad that will affect performance?
The 22114 will end up costing nearly $200 more after getting the mobile base.
Finally, The TS3650 fences have a rip capacity that is offset giving you like 36" to the right and 12" to the left while the 22114 is almost centered giving you 24" to the right and 25" to the left. I havent sat down to ponder too deeply, but it seems that having it offset and getting a greater capacity to one side is better, but I could be wrong.
I'm leaning towards the TS3650 knowing I'll be doing more tweaking/fixing than I'd like... but everytime I get ready to go buy it I struggle to go through with it. Sears and Home Depot are within line of site so I have been back and forth giving them the 'once over' about 50 times and still cant decide.
Thanks for any info.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Can we assume that a Sears, Lowe's or Home Depot is in your area? You should be able to order a Delta or Jet saw through at least one of those stores and have it shipped to the store. Then you can inspect it before taking delivery.
John
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Way to ignore the original question. Very helpful.
My neighbor has a Delta contractor's saw, and for the money, I'm unimpressed. It's a fine saw, but nothing special. There are much better values out there in a contractor's saw.
John Grossbohlin wrote:

should
stores and

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Mike,
If you recall the original poster had reservations about mail ordering a saw which is why he was looking at the two he listed. I offered him a suggestion on how he could get a Jet or Delta if he really wanted one. This while not encountering the risk he was trying to avoid. Thus it was helpful.
John
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
As long as we're reading into the OP, there was likely a Delta sitting right next to the Ridgid when he checked it out. It's unlikely this escaped consideration, and as such was rejected as an option -- out of considerations of value for the $. You don't have to special order a Delta, as my neighbor brought his home from the Borg in his truck the same day.
/Just sayin'
John Grossbohlin wrote:

You
taking
ordering a saw

suggestion
while not

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

There wasn't much need to read into the OP's message... he pretty well stated that he was risk averse to mail order and was looking only at what was in the local stores.
The only Delta saws I've seen in the local Borgs were direct drive saws and contractor saws with the base fence and stamped steel wings. If the OP encountered the same in his local stores I don't blame him for rejecting them in favor of the two saws he listed. The local Sears was stocking Jet stationary tools but I haven't been in their tool department in a couple years so I don't know if they still do. The OP may not have known that the order option was available to him through those channels.
I'm well equipped with big iron, most of which I got exceptional deals on through the now defunct local Woodworker's Warehouse. Between price matching, sales and liquidation deals I filled my shop with tools similar to those I see in the commercial shops in the area--3 HP cabinet saw, DJ-20, etc. Only my drill press and floor model thickness planner didn't come from that store.
John
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
John Grossbohlin wrote:

saws and

HERE's our miscommunication problem! I've seen the iron winged Delta contractor's saws at my local various Borgs. Varying floor stocking.
Well, there you have it.
-Mike
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Mike Reed wrote:

The only thing I saw about it that really set it apart was that it had decidedly beefier trunnions than anything else in the same general price range. Other than that, it was mostly sort of same old same old. I got the impression that the biggest part of the considerable price difference between it and its nearest neighbor went to pay for the blue triangle logos on it in various places.
--
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Mike -
I've got a Rigid Planer, and it has served well, I also have some older Craftsman Iron.... I do think that the fence issue is important, but I'm thinkin' I'd lean toward the Craftsman. It's bigger, heavier - both good... and somehow I have a *little* more faith in Sears parts than whomever happens to be leasing the Ridgid trademark this quarter.
The fence deflection on the saw may be incomplete or uncaring assembly - remember, those saws were set up quickly for display - so it may well be okay - 1/4" is HUGE and suggests (one would hope) more of something being loose, rather than wholey inaccurate.
The capacity to the L/R depends - you can always use a circ saw or router rough out/edge a larger part - it may be safer and easier overall, rather than trying to wrestle sheet goods on a TS. Most of your work will be will be under a foot, I'd imagine, so... there are always work-arounds. You may be able to shift the rails to change capacities as well - so check, otherwise, your remarks are correct.
I think you were smart to consider General Int'l... I'd pick a General over either of the others, but you can get something green later.
Don't forget that the whole idea here is to do a really good job of cutting your wood - so, while you are counting your $$$, make all of the effort worthwhile and buy yourself a *really - REALLY* good sawblade - Forressssstt - perhaps - the guy has to have some black magik going on in his shop, and that blade will last you for years. Take the time to set the saw up well and you will be one HAPPY camper... Think about Link Belts too, maybe for your birthday or xmas....
After you have the saw all set up, the FIRST thing you should build yourself is a small crosscut sled. Then, thank me. Let us know how things work out!
John Moorhead
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Mike W. wrote:

I *don't* have any experience with the new models, or the new fence they have, so I can only speak in generalities here. It sounds to me like what you saw was probably a setup issue. The assembler probably didn't have time or inclination to adjust everything correctly. I would imagine, although, again, I do not know for a fact, that you can probably adjust this problem away. Every fence I've played with has had some facility for dealing with such issues. See if you can't get a look at the saw's manual and read the adjustment procedure for yourself. For what the saw costs, maybe you can talk the store guy into letting you attempt to adjust the one in the store so that the fence works to your satisfaction, to prove it can be done.
(They work for minimum wage plus commission, and that would be a pretty good commission. He might just let you play with it. Maybe.)

It will be terrible to use if you can't fix that. I had a benchtop saw that didn't lock very well at the back, and it would deflect at the worst times. It caused me a lot of misery. A fence that can take a pretty solid whack without moving is a must.

I have an older Crapsman saw with an Align-a-Rip 24/24 on it. I've had it about a year now. I haven't actually done any "serious" projects yet, for various reasons, but I've done a number of "ugly" projects for around the shop. I've cut up a fair amount of recycled plywood from a huge library magazine rack I got for $2 at an auction, and have used every bit of the fence capacity to the right. I haven't yet ever found a reason to have the fence over to the left of the blade, and I have to work to conceive of one.
Another consideration is that, when adjusting the fence parallel to the miter slot, after much screwing around, the closest I could get it was 0.004" or so out at the back, slanting to the right, away from the blade in the normal cutting position. If I moved the fence to the left, it would be slanting into the blade. I couldn't even use this left rip capacity without re-adjusting the stupid fence, and spending another couple of hours dicking around with the adjustment. I can't imagine it would ever be worth it, and I'm thinking about just cutting the left ends of the rails off, so I stop hitting them with my ass when I walk by.
So, in summary, I think the 24/24 concept is pretty useless. 12/36 definitely sounds more reasonable.
--
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Both these saws look pretty impressive to me. Sears had both the 22114 and the 22104 on good sales just before Christmas, and I have been kicking myself for not getting one then. When you were doing your comparative shopping, did you look at the new Hitachi saw at Lowes? At $499, it looks to be in the same ballpark with the Ridgid. It comes with a caster set, which may or may not be good enough. I've read lots of comments about Craftsman fence deflection, so it is one thing I always check on the floor models. These fences *appear* to only lock at the front with little stabilization at the rear. This scares me as well.
Kirk
Mike W. wrote:

for
where I

saw. I

out
TS3650 and

of the

clear
itemize
important
Not a

Craftsman)
overly
what I've

I've
this
this
and
that the

of
22114,
I would

is
TS3650
of the

deflection is

will
mobile
you
centered
to
greater
tweaking/fixing
go
have
still

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Fear not little one. All the really good fences only use a front-only locking design. Beismeyer and all of their clones function this way. By locking only in the front they are only using the front rail as a reference for setting the "angle" (which should be parallel to the blade).
It is easy to make front-rear locking design that will lock very securely, *but* it is hard to make the always lock at the same angle, which is critical.
I used to have a craftsman with a front/rear locking fence. The fence was the worst part of the saw. I eventially replaced it with a front-locking Vega which performed beautifully.
In short Front-only locking is generally a good thing.
-Steve
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 28 Jan 2005 10:25:57 -0500, Stephen M wrote:

My Shop Fox (the un-Bies version) works quite well. It glides freely on its rails and locks like a rock front and back. It's also consistantly square. This looks like a solved problem to me.
There are advantages to front-locking only, though. It's easier to setup an outfeed table, for example.

Well, Bies (and its clones) are generally a good thing. Not sure about front-locking overall. There are plenty of lousy front-locking fences.
--
Joe Wells


Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

================Not doubting you at all...BUT can you name a couple...?
Just curious... because I have never seen any ..but then again after buying my Biesmeyer almost 15 years ago I have not paid any attention to fences ...just no need to..
Bob Griffiths
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sun, 30 Jan 2005 14:05:09 -0500, Bob G. wrote:

I'm mainly refering to the typical fences that come with many bench and contractor's saws. There's a reason that many of these were replaced with Vegas, Beis / clones, etc. Shoot, you even replaced your stock fence with a Bies. Was the oringinal front-locking?
--
Joe Wells


Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

NO.....
I ordered my saw direct from Jet (a Cabinet Saw) 15 years ago with the Biesmeyer Fence... At that time Biesmeyer was not owned by Delta and Biesmeyers were common options on many saws...
My original table saw was a Rockwell Contractors saw...locked front and back, My Dads Tablesaw was a Craftsmans,..locked front and back..my Brothers original Tablesaw was a Delta Contractors saw...locked front and back...
Bob Griffiths
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sun, 30 Jan 2005 19:15:35 -0500, Bob G. wrote:

Fair enough. It seems to me that most of the fences on contractor's saws that I've seen over the past few years have been front-locking, so I presumed that's the type that most of the folks here are talking about when asking for fence replacement recommendations. Reviewing a few saws on OWWM, that doesn't seem to be the case "back then", although looking at the designs it's easy to see why front-n-back lockers have a bad rap.
--
Joe Wells


Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
s. These fences *appear* to only lock

======================I have NOT even looked at these two saws..or actually compare the fences
BUT I will never, ever, ...like... NO WAY go back to owning a saw that had a fence that locked front and back...
Those kind of fences scare me.... give me the front locking t-square fences anyday of the week...
Bob Griffiths
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Bob Griffiths responds:

Reminds me of a few months ago, one guy didn't want a Biese because it only locked in the front. I wonder how many have been sold where the buyer didn't even THINK about that feature?
Charlie Self "They want the federal government controlling Social Security like it's some kind of federal program." George W. Bush, St. Charles, Missouri, November 2, 2000
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I have the sears and I have used it for a few months. The fence does deflect a little but a 1/4 inch is a bit much. To stop this you can take a small block of wood and a c clamp on the rear rail to give it a support. In practice it does not seem to be an issue, but I plan on ditching the fence in a few more months for a more advanced design, maybe an Incra.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.